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Lugansk envoy says Russia’s initiative on peacekeepers is ‘only realistic’

Rodion Miroshnik said, both parties to the conflict should agree with carrying out the mission, and that’s Kiev and the Donbass republics

MOSCOW, November 4. /TASS/. Russia’s initiative on deploying the United Nations mission to Donbass is the only possible way to ensure security of monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the region, the envoy of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic to the Contact Group’s political subgroup told TASS.

US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker told reporters on Friday that the UN peacekeepers should control the entire territory of Donbass and not only the line of contact as proposed by Moscow.

"Russia’s proposal is the only really existing option for the UN mission in Donbass and the rest is just some comments or statements, which do not have a form of an official document and in fact, there is nothing to consider rather than the Russian proposal," Rodion Miroshnik said.

Volker views the conflict in Donbass "from very pro-Ukrainian positions, but with such stances hardly any agreement can be reached," the envoy said, noting that the US diplomat needs to "understand the aspirations of Donbass citizens." "Not viewing the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics as a party to the conflict is disastrous for any agreements! They won’t possibly be implemented," he stressed.

"We consider the UN mission as an additional opportunity to ensure effective and independent monitoring of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which is a mechanism of ensuring the agreements reached in security area, but without discussing and coordinating the terms of the mission with the representatives of the republics it will hardly be fulfilled," he said.

"Both parties to the conflict should agree with carrying out the mission, and that’s Kiev and the Donbass republics. Russia’s proposal is the most adequate and realistic one. All parties will have to take a closer look at it," Miroshnik stressed.

On September 5, by the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s UN mission sent a draft resolution to international organization on deploying the UN mission along the Donbass contact line to provide safety for the OSCE SMM members. Putin stressed that the mission’s deployment would be only possible in case of agreement of the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics and withdrawal of weapons by the conflicting parties under the Minsk accords. Kiev stated that Ukraine does not favor the format of the peacekeeping mission in Donbass proposed by the Russian president and insists that the UN contingent should be deployed along the Russian-Ukrainian border first.